Duffield 2-3 Chapel Allerton
Nick Matthew (Yorkshire) 3-1 Thierry Lincou (France)
11-7, 5-11, 13-11, 11-6 (55m)
Joey Barrington (Somerset) 0-3 Alister Walker (Gloucestershire)
5-6 rtd (ankle injury)
Andrew Whipp (Cheshire) 2-3 Aaron Frankcomb (Australia)
8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 12-14 (70m)
Joel Hinds (Derbyshire) 2-3 Chris Simpson (Guernsey)
11-6, 11-2, 8-11, 2-11, 5-11 (72m)
Tania Bailey (Lincs) 3-0 Carrie Ramsey (Yorkshire)
11-2, 11-1, 11-3 (22m)
Chapel Allerton Destroy Duffield
Howard Harding reports
After a 21-year absence, Leeds club Chapel Allerton
marked their return to the Premier Squash League in
sensational style by beating Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3/2
in tonight's final before a packed crowd n Nottingham -
thus preventing the Derbyshire club from becoming the
first to win the world's most prestigious league title a
record four times.
Duffield - champions in 1998, 2006 and 2007 - started
well in the climax of the 25th season of the PSL when
club stalwart Tania Bailey, fresh from captaining
England to success in the European Championships in
Sweden, crushed Chapel Allerton newcomer Carrie
Ramsey 11-2, 11-1, 11-3.
While Bailey, the world No14 from Lincolnshire, was
chalking up her 23rd successive PSL match win,
18-year-old Leeds student Ramsey was making her maiden
appearance in the league!
Bailey, beset by injury and illness in her recent
career, will travel to London immediately following the
final to check into a London hospital at 7.00am tomorrow
for an operation to repair the cartilage on her hip
"I did think about tomorrow's operation a couple of
times during the match - the surgeon is the best in
England, who has treated a lot of Manchester United
players (including Roy Keane)," said Bailey after her
convincing win. "But I enjoyed every minute I was on
court, making the most of my last game for a few months.
I kept thinking about how much I love playing.
"I couldn't have been happier with my game over the last
few months - and I love playing for England. Being
captain of the team in Malmo was extra special - we've
really got a good thing going with our team.
"The rough estimate is that I'll be back playing in four
months - but they won't really know for certain until
they do the operation," added the former world No4.
Surprises looked on the cards when Duffield's Joel
Hinds took a 2/0 lead against Chris Simpson,
and Andrew Whipp twice came back from behind to
reach match-ball in the fifth against Chapel Allerton's
Australian international Aaron Frankcomb.
But Frankcomb saved two match-balls before clinching
success with his own third match-ball to beat dogged
Duffield campaigner Whipp 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 14-12
after 70 minutes.
And Simpson - who had never before lost to Hinds, and
prevailed against the Derbyshire 21-year-old in last
month's British U23 Championship final - battled hard
from eight-all in the third to win 6-11, 2-11, 11-8,
11-2, 11-5 in 72 minutes.
The Leeds club now had a 2/1 advantage - leaving
Duffield requiring the final two matches to make PSL
But disaster struck for the former champions early in
the second match on the showcourt when Englishman
Joey Barrington, who had led 5-1, injured his foot
when stretching for a drop shot delivered by Chapel
Allerton's second string Alister Walker.
"I'm not sure what happened, but he went for it and
clearly pulled something in his foot," said Walker after
the devastatingly brief 6-5 (retired) win which gave
Chapel Allerton the title.
"We always have brutal matches and that was what I was
expecting tonight," said Walker, the 26-year-old from
Leeds who made his England debut in last week week's
European Championship - winning the first match towards
England's victory over France in the final. "I took
loads of energy drinks in preparation for tonight's
match - I think I'll need to go out now and burn it
In the dead rubber that finished the evening, Duffield
stalwart Nick Matthew, the England number one,
entertained the crowd - and gained a further consolation
point for his club - by beating Frenchman Thierry
Lincou 11-7, 5-11, 13-11, 11-6 in 55 minutes.
Allerton team manager Neil Guirey was full of
praise for his team for lifting the PSL trophy in,
essentially, its maiden season in the league. "What's
really pleasing is that everyone in the team is a
genuine Chapel Allerton player - either based full-time
at the club or, like Thierry, often training here when
he's in the UK.
"This success will really be good for us, especially
after the one million pound refurbishment the club has
recently undergone, which has increased our squash
courts to six. In fact our two new courts replaced a
tennis court - and it's always nice to do that!
"Tonight has been really spectacular - it was quite
difficult to predict how we'd do at the beginning of the
season, even though I knew we had a good squad," Guirey
"It's also good for Yorkshire squash that we've now
established ourselves in the most prestigious league in
the world. We've had great local support throughout the
season - in fact we could have sold out three-times
"But I hope the biggest knock-on effect of this will be
to expand the professional side of the club, and attract
more elite international players to Chapel Allerton. I
hope this will put us on the map as an elite club."
Matthew After French Double In PSL Final
Just days after leading England
to title success in the European Team
Championships, British champion Nick Matthew
will be hoping to finish the season on a double high
when he guides Derbyshire club Benz-Bavarian
Duffield to a historic fourth victory in
the final of the Premier Squash League
Tuesday 5 May in Nottingham.
The 28-year-old world No6 from
Sheffield claimed a crucial victory in Saturday's
European final against France by beating the event's
highest-ranked player Gregory Gaultier, the
world No2, to give his country a significant lead.
And in the PSL final against Chapel Allerton,
Matthew is expected to play the decider against
French star Thierry Lincou, the former world
number one and world champion who is the Leeds
club's top string.
With victory in 1998, 2006 and
2007, Duffield are one win away from establishing a
unique status in PSL history by edging past fellow
three-time champions Leekes Wizards, of
Cardiff, and Cannons, from London, in the
climax of the 25th season of the world's most
prestigious squash league.
The village of Duffield, some
five miles north of Derby, boasts a population of
just 5,000 - yet its squash club has already
established a worldwide reputation for its squash
prowess. The club is celebrating its 16th season in
the league, a longer continuous run than any other
"The club seems to be the focus
of the village – and I think this is one of the
reasons for its success. The whole village supports
us," Matthew explained.
Undefeated in eight matches for
Duffield this season, Matthew will be joined in the
club's all-English squad by world No14 Tania
Bailey, the former British champion from
Lincolnshire who boasts an unbeaten PSL run of 22
matches since March 2005! Like Matthew, Bailey also
played her part in England defending the women's
European title in Sweden. Both players featured in
Duffield's triumphant 2006 and 2007 successes.
Bailey's career has been beset
by injuries: after recovering from knee surgery
last year, the 29-year-old from Stamford will
undergo hip surgery immediately following her
Duffield appearance in the PSL final.
The PSA final gets underway at
Nottingham Park Squash Club at 7.00pm on Tuesday.
Victors in 06 & 07:
Semi-Finals at Surrey:
0115 941 7022
The Park, Nottingham NG7 1BX
for historic PSL success
Preview from Howard Harding
securing Benz-Bavarian Duffield's place in the final of
the Premier Squash League for the third time in four
years, British champion Nick Matthew will be
hoping to lead the Derbyshire club to an historic fourth
PSL title in the climax of the 25th season of the
world's most prestigious squash league on Tuesday 5th
Duffield, some five miles north of Derby and boasting a
population of just 5,000, is perhaps now best known
around the world for its squash prowess, and are
competing in their 16th season of the PSL, a longer
continuous run than any other club. In the final they
face Chapel Allerton, the long-established Leeds club
which first competed in the inaugural 1984/85 season and
returned to the league this season after a 22-year gap.
Matthew, the world No6 from Sheffield who is undefeated
in eight matches for Duffield this season, will be
joined in the club's all-English squad by world No15
Tania Bailey, the former British champion from
Lincolnshire who boasts an unbeaten PSL run of 22
matches since March 2005!
Both players featured in Duffield's triumphant 2006 and
2007 finals - and will be hoping to play their part in
establishing the club's unique status in PSL history by
edging past fellow three-time champions Leekes Wizards,
of Cardiff, and Cannons, from London.
Matthew will face Chapel Allerton number one Thierry
Lincou, the former world number one and world
champion from France who is ranked one position below
the Yorkshireman in the world list - but boasts a 12-3
career head-to-head record over his rival.
Matthew, celebrating his sixth season for Duffield, made
his Premier League debut in the 1996/97 season -
representing his home club Hallamshire. Incredibly, his
first PSL experience, then aged 16, was a match against
Duffield - which he lost 3/0 in the Derbyshire village.
don't remember that match particularly - but I do
remember playing Paul Hargrave a few times. He
was the son of the then team manager Brian Hargrave
- and my Dad managed Hallamshire. I used to get some
awful stick from the crowd as he was the favourite.
"Thankfully, the Duffield supporters treat me a lot
"I've been lucky with the Premier League from the start
- first playing for my local club for the seven seasons
that they were in the league. I was at a bit of a loss
when Hallamshire dropped out – and, despite having
various offers, wasn't 100% sure what to do.
"But Duffield proved to be the perfect move – not only
was it the nearest club, but I was made to feel at home
from day one! One of the best aspects, right from the
start, was meeting Felix Frixou, who has been the
team's sponsor throughout and is now also the team
manager. He's become one of my best friends and his
company Benz Bavarian is now also a personal sponsor.
"But the spectators are so passionate about the club –
it's a real pleasure to play in front of them. They
follow us, home and away, just like a football team –
you couldn't wish for better support."
"It would be testament to everyone involved if we won
the title for a record fourth time – not just the team
on the court, but the supporters, the people who sell
the tickets, make the food, sell the raffle tickets,
etc. Everyone chips in at Duffield.
"It's a really special place - the club seems to be the
focus of the village – and I think this is one of the
reasons for its success. The whole village supports us."
Success in Nottingham
would crown an incredible season for the Duffield number
one who was out of action for most of last year
following shoulder surgery in January. He won the Dutch
Open in September - his first event after nine months -
then reclaimed his British National Championship crown
this year in addition to winning the Swedish Open.
Leaping four places, Matthew returned to the world top
five in March to restore his status as Britain's
"I went through a lot of ups and downs as I recovered
from the surgery - but the lowest point was probably
last September, just before I played the Dutch Open. I
was so keen to get back to playing but kept having
setbacks, and went to Holland without any expectations -
and won the title!
"So in the space of just a few days I went from an
absolute low to a complete high," said Matthew.
"I thought I was ready to win the Worlds after just a
few events, but realised I needed more match practice.
Squash is a tough sport – but I've definitely come back
better and stronger.
"I was lucky to have had a fantastic team of people
working with me at the EIS in Sheffield – all on my
As he approaches the climax of his 13th season in the
Premier League, Matthew is full of praise for the
England Squash and Racketball-run league: "It's
definitely the most prestigious squash league in the
world – with great strength in depth in the squads - and
unique in giving the ladies a position in the teams.
England Squash organise it well around the PSA and WISPA
"You play as an individual for most of the year – so
it's good to be part of a team in the league, and all
the players want to do well in it. In fact, I remember
the last match of the season – against Chapel Allerton,
in fact – when my match was effectively a 'dead rubber'.
But I played as if my life depended on it – and it
turned out to be one of the best matches in the league.
"I've enjoyed this season more than any other – the team
spirit has been great, and having Joey Barrington
(one of my best friends on the tour) in the squad has
really been a boost. Andy Whipp and Joel Hinds
have really effective at three and four - and Tania's
the most reliable woman in the league," concluded the
With Alister Walker and Chris Simpson
(ranked 16 & 47, respectively, in the world) both
boasting 2/0 career head-to-head records over their
opponents Barrington and Hinds (ranked 28 & 178,
respectively), it would appear that league 'newcomers'
Chapel Allerton have the edge in this PSL finale.
But the Nottingham crowd will no doubt be hoping that
Matthew and Lincou will play the decider – and that the
adopted East Midlander from Sheffield will repeat his
two most recent results over the Frenchman to clinch the
title for Duffield.